What is the goal of preparing your South Barrington home for the real estate market? Is it to make it the best, the nicest, the most upgraded? No it’s to remove all possible buyer objections. Buyers will always find reasons not to choose your home to make an offer on. Many of these reasons could have been mitigated before you even started. This might seem elementary especially in the higher end of a real estate market but I would not be writing this article if it were not necessary.
Possible Objections From Buyers
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Before looking at the preparation here are some examples of objections that buyers routinely make. We ask for feedback from showing agents, which is how we find out these objections. As a buyers agent I’ll routinely provide feedback based on what my buyers tell me but only if it does not harm any future possibility of submitting an offer to buy and negotiate a good price.
- Many objections are real and cannot be resolved other than by making the price overcome the objection. Close proximity to roads is an example.
- Some objections cannot be resolved easily. For example a buyer might hope for a main level bedroom and bathroom for in-laws. If you don’t have that it’s unlikely a buyer will want to spend funds to create one in any possible area, they’ll look for one ready done.
- Other objections may refer to age or condition of aspects of your home, bathrooms and kitchens being a huge target. Carpets or outdated flooring is another. Garish paint colors on walls makes buyers chuckle and wonder who was thinking what when they chose the color. Some of these will take a lot of funds to resolve, others not so much, like painting those loud rooms.
- Care and maintenance. You might be surprised what buyers zoom in on as they tour a home. Cobwebs, stains, dirt. Uncared for driveways, weeds in the flower beds, lack of mulch, missing roof tiles and so on.
- Visible trip hazards. Buyers cannot see all the potential safety issues but trip hazards are usually one they can and do. Uneven paving stones, or concrete paths that have sunk or risen can create trip hazards. You have got used to them over time but a new visitor is likely going to see them…..or trip over.
This gives you an idea of how you need to look at your home with critical eyes before listing for sale. Buyers can reject your home on some many things, so why not take care of as many issues as you can. Your bottom line dollar amount is at stake.
Need Help With Your South Barrington Home Preparation?
There’s no need to get overwhelmed with the project. If you’re about to sell your South Barrington home and need some guidance we are here to help. Hire us to be your Realtor of choice, in return we’ll visit your home and give you a recommended list of things to get done before you go live on the market.
We can prioritize the list as well if needed. We’ll stop by every now and then to see how you are progressing.
Call Corinne Today! – 847-363-3686
Up For The Challenge? – Preparing For Sale
You’ve got the idea now so let’s prepare for sale. Yes this may cost money to resolve the possible objections but you’ll place your home in a much better position for sale, for a higher dollar amount and more than likely, less showings and a faster sale.
Whether you have service or do it yourself it’s time to deal with weeds in the grass and flower beds. Shrubbery needs to be trimmed, dead bushes removed and replaced, overgrown landscaping may need to be removed especially if it hides your house. Diseased trees should be treated or removed and replaced. Flower beds may need a new layer of mulch.
Remove all fallen leaves and yes the dog poop needs to go! Talking of dogs, if you have a small dog run at the back of the house, keep that clean too.
Driveways and Paths
If your driveway is pavers make sure to power wash out all grass tufts, moss or weeds. Fill any gaps with sand and level uneven blocks while doing so.
If your drive is concrete and you have cracks, have a concrete expert come and advise. It may be possible to fill the cracks. Trip hazards should certainly be addressed. Fortunately concrete is not often used here in South Barrington due to our seasonal weather changes. Just as well as the cost to repair might mean a new driveway.
The majority of driveways are asphalt, much better suited for our four season climate. Have the driveway trimmed of grass near the edges, patch any uneven areas or fill holes. A new coat of black top will go a long way to making your drive look cared for, but don’t expect to hide problems that really mean it’s time for a new driveway. Asphalt driveways suffer in the winter and poorly laid drives can start to sink. Cracks can be sealed prior to adding the black top.
Pathways to your doors need to be free of all trip hazards, clear of overgrowing grass, and clean. A power wash might be all you need. If you have stoops and steps, give them the same attention. Seasonal potted plants always make a front entrance welcoming, find something with color or decorate using seasonal fruits like Pumpkins at Fall or a potted Chrysanthemum or two.
Lastly take a quick look at your mail box. It may need to be propped up or replacing. Not a big cost but final touches can make huge differences.
Decks and Patios
Patios can have the same problems as driveways but are less costly to repair or replace. Decks might need a fresh coat of staining and pay attention to any railings for security. Remove any unused flower boxes or plant with seasonal flowers.
A word about winter. Much of the above cannot be seen in winter so make your buyers feel welcome. Clear the snow for showings from the driveway, the path to the house and all steps and stoops. Clear your deck and patio too, at least they’ll know you have one.
Swimming Pools and Hot Tubs
In winter it’s hard to make pools look good but make sure your cover looks like new. In warmer months if your pool is open, be sure it’s being regularly serviced, removing leaves and debris every day and treating the water so it’s crystal clear and sparkling. Pools are a hate or love item but a sparkling clear and inviting pool might just persuade a hater to become a lover.
Hot tubs as part of a swimming pool will look as good as the pool. Separate hot tubs will not shine so well, be sure your cover is not torn or in tatters. Be sure to let me know if you’ll be taking it with you.
Exterior of Property
Depending on the products used to construct the house you may have some repairs and you may not.
EIFS can be a big issue. Back in the 1980’s when it was first used, drainage systems were missing and water that gets behind EIFS cannot always escape. This can cause rot in adjacent structures like wooden windows. (EIFS maybe known to you as Dryvit – which is actually a brand name).
Siding may have areas that need repair, brick may need mortar joints re-done, your exterior maybe lacking in caulk at joints – often caused by drying out in the heat and low humidity in winter when things dry and crack. How old is your roof? How long is the expected lifespan? Do you have any leaks? Chimneys are a common item on inspection reports, missing caps, cracked pots, breached cowls, failing flashing. All show signs of potential issues with safely operating a fire inside a house.
Take a look around your house and see what seems obvious to you and have it repaired. A buyers home inspector may come up with items you are not aware of and this is normal. The goal is to be as pro-active as you can. As long as your home’s exterior operates correctly and safely there’s no reason you have to replace everything.
Interior of Property
Kitchens and bathrooms sell houses, most of us know that. Why? Because they are the most expensive parts of a house to update.
Do you have to remodel everything to sell? No. Not at all.
There are quick fixes that can be done to help improve a dated look. A thorough cleaning is a great place to start for the whole house. If you have water stains, i.e. hard water deposits, a cleaning might be enough to remove them. Faucets and handles can be relatively cheaply replaced and best advised if you are two cycles of design removed. What I mean by that is let’s say you have gold or brass colored faucets. Rubbed bronze is now in the design cycle. However that’s going to change sooner than we know. I like brushed nickel as an alternative to stand the test of time.
Remodeling to sell does not seem like a very good idea in my book. You will not see the return on your money 100%. A better viewpoint is to adjust your price to allow for outdated rooms and let the buyers decide if they are willing and then how to remodel.
Carpets and other flooring products may also need a good clean. Tired and worn carpets on the other hand should be replaced or if the condition is good and you’ve got a ridge or two, re-stretching them might resolve the issue. If you need to replace them, you don’t need to buy the best. TIP – There are companies that will finance flooring upgrades for sellers, repayment occurs at closing. Ask me if you are interested.
Painting a home can help but I don’t necessarily agree with the change all colors to one neutral beige canvas theory. If you have wallpaper I do suggest removing it if possible. If your paint colors in certain rooms are very loud, then yes those rooms should be repainted. Dark colors can make a home seem gloomy. Overly bright has the opposite effect. So tone those down a little and match your existing palette. Buyers want to be able to move in but will likely repaint at some point anyway. Make the home live-able for them for a while. There are so many paint colors we can use and as long as they are soft and warm toned, an objection is unlikely.
Too much furniture. We often use the word de-clutter. When it comes to furniture, many of us have too much. We’ve acquired it over the years. I’ll be happy to let you know what I feel should go into storage – not the garage! There may be a little room re-organization required. Large sofas in front of sliding doors being one I always recommend. You might consider the services of a staging company but as Realtors we are well versed in what looks good for each room.
Vacant homes are a different game. Staging may not be needed. I have yet to have a vacant home that did not sell at market value. We’ll never know if they would have achieved a little more.
Remembering that we are selling a home not a house, a lifestyle not 4 walls and rooms, it stands to reason this can be taken too far.
If you are a photo-a-holic and have them all displayed on every flat surface and every wall, well yes they will need thinning out. Buyers love looking at your family photos. Let’s give them what they want but in small doses. The goal is to show how happy you are living in the home and pass that emotion forward. Remember to fill in any holes made when removing hooks.
Collectibles and curios. If you have these on display it might be wise to pack them away. Large homes in South Barrington are likely are a target for families and the kids may visit too. Whether it be toys, collectible toys, or prized possessions, they are safer gone.
Other Items To Prepare Before Listing for Sale:
- Non working lights-replace the bulbs
- Closets – keep tidy
- Pantry – make it look big enough by thinning out as needed and keep tidy
- Linen closets – neatly folded towels and thin out as needed
- Refrigerator/freezer – keep orderly and remove old food
- Childrens toys – try to keep reasonable for age of child. A room loaded with toys shows only as a playroom, your buyers may want an office.
- Things where things need to be! Yes we all misuse areas of our house.
- Don’t forget to stage the outside living spaces – season permitting.
- Un clutter garages – if buyers see garage spaces loaded with inside items they’ll immediately think the house is too small. Time for a storage locker for a few months.
- Exotic animals – Snakes or fishtanks or similar. Are these secure for wandering hands? Are they safe for visitors? Could a family member take them for a while?
- Dogs and cats – The most common of pets. Do you have a plan on how to handle showings for your pets safety?
- House alarms – Same as pets, how do you intend to allow showings.
- Your absence, vacations etc. Will you allow showings and if not, why not and how can we resolve that.
- Celebration Holidays – Are there days you will not want showings? Understand many buyers visit on Holidays. Perhaps this year someone else hosts the party.
Home Preparation Complete – Objections Removed
This can be quite a big exercise and may take longer than you expected. Whether you have a small amount of preparation to do or it takes you a year, the effort will translate into success. Only you can determine how much effort and money you want to invest, and of course time.
All we ask is you do the very best you can with the circumstances you are dealt and we’ll do the rest.
Ready To Sell?
If all your home preparation is complete and it’s ready for sale, we’re ready to assist.
Call Corinne Today! – 847-363-3686